Author: Sheona Burrow
Illustration: Davide Bonazzi
Infringement of copyright occurs when someone uses a copyright work as a whole, or any substantial part of it, without the copyright owner’s permission and their use is not covered by a copyright exception. Below you can find useful guidance on what you can do if you think someone has infringed your copyright, or if someone has accused you of copyright infringement. It is important to note that the information below reflects what is permitted under UK copyright law and that it does not constitute legal advice.
Sometimes court action appears to be the only appropriate way to resolve a dispute. The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Small Claims Track offers a dispute resolution option…
You may wish to use a third party to assist in enforcement of your copyright, such as a solicitor, a mediator or an arbitrator.
In England and Wales, and Northern Ireland, parties are expected to try to resolve disputes before taking Court Action, for example by using a more informal dispute resolution mechanism.
Choosing an appropriate dispute resolution mechanism depends on a number of factors. For example, you should consider the following…
If you are reading this section you have probably received an email, letter, Pre Action Protocol correspondence or court summons from a copyright holder…
The first step is to be clear whether the work is protected by copyright and whether the infringing behaviour has any legal justification (e.g. under a copyright exception).
Copyright Bite #3 considers how you can lawfully make use of, or borrow from, works that are still in copyright, but without having to ask for permission or make payment to the copyright owner.
If you own the copyright in a work, you are free to exploit it on your own or license the use of it to another party (such as a book publisher). ‘Exploit’ in this context means to develop or make use of it.
Copyright is a set of ‘exclusive’ rights, giving creators the right to control the use of their work and the ability to earn from it. The term ‘exclusive’ in copyright law means…